Flash Points: DragonsflyPoppy


Welcome to Flash Points. Every Monday we stick one of the previous Friday’s entries under a sparklyscope (if you call now, we’ll throw in free shipping!) and talk about it right in front of its face, dragon style. What makes writing “good”? Specifically, what makes great flash? What about this particular piece really works? Let the discussion begin!

Prompt: foggy sunrise

Word limit: 145-155

Today’s chosen flash piece:  The Calling of a Dream, by DragonsflyPoppy

She leant over and kissed the top of their heads. They were asleep, softly snoring in unison: her beloved husband and beautiful baby boy, not yet a year old.

She’d had a fitful night’s sleep, and that dream…that dream kept playing over and over. She couldn’t ignore it; she had to do this.

It was achingly cold outside. She had to reach the summit in time for sunrise, that much she knew. The rest? Well, that was where the dream had stopped.

She arrived just as the sky started to melt with the orange glow of the sun.

Suddenly she became aware of an unannounced hand in hers, with a warmth that radiated through her, touching her soul. She looked at the young boy, so handsome, standing next to her, recognising immediately, behind those deep loving eyes, her son.

She gasped as she was shown, in that moment, all that he was to become.

What works:

Flash Points welcomes DragonsflyPoppy into the lab for the first time (hi! so glad you came and played at Flash! Friday last week!). The Calling of a Dream takes center stage today because it has such a kick-your-dupa concept, the story’s still stuck in my craw days later.

It starts gently, sweetly, with a mother kissing her sleeping family. Then we’re given a disturbing dream–she can’t sleep, has got to (though she doesn’t know why) climb the summit in time for sunrise. DragonsflyPoppy leads the reader along with tantalizing crumbs of story, its pacing slow but calculated. We’re given just enough to whet our appetites and keep us reading.

In the end we really don’t know what’s happened or is about to happen. The scene is complete, framed perfectly by the mother’s initiative at the beginning and the toddler’s at the end. But what I love most is how the story hints at a larger idea. Magic does not act overtly here, but we have a wise-for-his-years, early walking baby; a troubling dream that forces the character into unwilling action; and a sudden glimpse of potential. Magic seeps through every last pore.

I. Love. This. Story. Dragonsflypoppy completely ensnared my imagination. What did the mother see in her baby’s eyes? Why was the sunrise so significant? What is this world, and what roles will these two characters be required to play in it? There is more, so much more, to this story than what we are given, but that more is only hinted at. The amount of story given us fits the allotted space comfortably (neither too much story nor too little); but like the mother, we gasp in wonder as we catch a too-brief sighting of what the story could become.

Your turn:

What do you suppose the mother saw? Where do you think the story might go next? If you were worldbuilding for this scene, what might the world look like? What is the significance of this little boy?

6 thoughts on “Flash Points: DragonsflyPoppy

  1. The piece began peacefully enough, but quickly the author layered in a feeling of foreboding that went almost to the very end–the first half of the last sentence. But the last half of the last sentence is a phrasing that in my mind usually leaves a positive feeling–all that a child will become–as opposed to what a child will turn into. I don’t know if that makes sense:). But mainly what that last sentence did is put me off kilter which is an awesome thing.


  2. Oh, Wow. I got chills at the end! I I think I might cry… There is something that resonates within me when the mother *sees* the potential of her child… Yes, my mind certainly filled in the magic and backstory of this young man growing into power and sacrifice, but – even without bringing my fantasy tropes to the table – it was heart-wrenching and hopeful. That last sentence grabbed my heart and squeezed. I also loved how the story moved from peaceful to foreboding to aching to arriving to possibility. SO MUCH in one little story! Thanks for featuring this one, Rebekah!


  3. The Calling of a Dream, is a beautiful piece of fiction. So much emotion in so little space. I am a mother and often look at my boys the same way. I really enjoy, Rebecca, how you break the Flash down. I’ve been school. Thank you. 🙂


  4. Hi Rebekah, thank you so very much for choosing my story for Flash Points, and on my very first time too! I’m so pleased that the undercurrent of ‘magic’ came through to you. I wanted to bring a touch of spirituality and the connection to nature to my story; linking mother’s love, with both the beautiful warmth of the sunrise, to the aching cold she bears to get there, and the spirit of her son and what he will become.
    On that point, I love that Lisa picked up on the positive feeling, and Alissa to the sense of possibility, for her boy.
    And Karen, thank you for recognising the emotion in there too.
    I have only been writing for about 6 weeks, after having not written creatively like this since I was at school (about 16 years ago)! I’m still finding my feet with it, feeling shy and not very confident, so this has been a really fantastic way to see how writing can be interpreted. It has really meant a lot to me – thank you! 🙂


    • dragonsflypoppy:

      I agree completely with all the beautiful things said about your flash, and felt the same way in reading it. It was my favorite. Perhaps mothers of sons are biased, but I don’t see how anyone could disagree.

      I’ve only been sharing my writing a short time myself, having started blogging and recently becoming interested in flash fiction. What a delicious medium!

      And let me say, the world THANKS you for sharing yours! You write beautifully and you absolutely should be doing it!! I go in fits and starts with moments of confidence and moments of doubt. Let me just clear those up for you right now. YOU. SHOULD. BE. WRITING. Don’t ask anyone to validate your spending the time. Consider it done. If you’re only 16 years out of school, be glad that you found your way there already, and don’t let another moment slip away.

      Best of luck to you in all your writing endeavors. I hope this is the beginning of a book. Perhaps the boy is a prophet, or a savior of some kind, and the mother needs to seek a spirit in order to know how to guide him. Your words are judicious and graceful, and I wouldn’t be able to stop reading if they continued that way.

      Kim Jorgensen Gane


  5. Oh gosh I have only just seen this – so sorry not to reply to you until now. Thank you so much for all you have said, it truly means a lot. It’s good to know these moments of lacking confidence aren’t unique to me – that we all get them from time to time.
    Flash Fiction is most definitely a delicious medium! It feels like a manageable way to start writing again; sometimes I love that it has be a neat concise story and other times I think I would love to develop it and keep going. But then to do that, to develop it into something more involved and detailed, feels a bit scary too, does that make sense?
    I’m going to head on over to twitter now to follow you and look up some of your work.
    Thank you again for taking the time to comment 🙂


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